AS reports that following the injury to left-back Nacho Monreal, Osasuna president Patxi Izco called Atlético to inform that Juanfran would not be sold during the winter transfer window.
Rojiblanco officials are now racing to find an alternative option to replace the void left by Simao Sabrosa.
Izco reportedly said that his club could not afford to lose two of its star players at the same time, as the knock sustained by Monreal will keep the defender out for about six weeks.
Though an agreement between Atleti and Juanfran had been reached, negotiations between the two clubs are now on stand-by while the clock continues to tick.
Atleti directors are said to be scrambling to find a replacement for winger Simao, who will be joining his new squad Besiktas shortly.
Club officials are rumoured to be once again setting their eyes on usual suspects Chori Castro and Pablo Piatti, but the signing of either of the two players seems unlikely.
Uruguayan national Castro of Mallorca does not have an EU passport and with the recent signing of Elias, los Colchoneros have used up all of their alotted non-EU spots. Castro’s countryman Diego Godín is not expected to receive his Spanish passport before the summer, so he and Brazilian Diego Costa continue to occupy the other two non-EU spots.
The Argentine-born Piatti looks like a more viable option, as he holds an Italian passport. But it would cost Atleti upwards of €7m to bring the Almería winger to the Vicente Calderón, a price range that appears to be beyond our reach given that our highest offer on the table for Juanfran was €5m.
Schalke’s Ivan Rakitic continues to be a plausible option, but Atlético could face some stiff competition from Juventus, who are also rumoured to have the Croatian in their sights.
UPDATE: El Mundo Deportivo still expects that the deal for Juanfran will take place, but reports that the fee is now somewhere in the €6m range. Osasuna could be using the Monreal injury as a bargaining chip, as they will be looking to get the highest amount possible for their brightest player. Los Rojillos know that Atlético are desperate for a winger, and that our options are extremely limited.
Gil Marín named Best Club Director of 2010
Perhaps we can rest assured about finding an adequate replacement for Simao, as we are under the leadership of Atlético Managing Director Miguel Ángel Gil Marín, who was named ‘Best Club Director for 2010’ by Globe Soccer in Dubai yesterday.
Gil Marín surprisingly beat out Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness and AC Milan Vice President and Managing Director Adriano Galliani, who were the other nominees for the honour.